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Authentic leadership in a pandemic world: an exploratory study in the Indian context

Arun Antony Chully (CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Pune, India)
Jerin Jose (CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Pune, India)
Luthufi M (School of Management and Labour Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, India)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 4 August 2022

Issue publication date: 18 August 2022




The purpose of this paper is to explore the strategies that helps leaders be authentic in order to be able to respond proactively and become effective in helping their organisations they lead in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Using a qualitative approach, 25 business leaders from diverse sectors were interviewed to understand what sustained them in an adverse context.


Results reveal various dimensions of authentic leadership in a disruptive environment. Authentic leaders have to exhibit distinct behaviours that stems from re-examining oneself to reaffirming organisational purpose. Reimagining the work is emerged as the newer dimension to the authentic leadership considering the context of COVID-19.

Practical implications

The results of the study provides insights for anyone leading organisations in today's disruptive business environment. The findings of this study can be used further to undertake quantitative studies to test professional relationships and understand the leadership strategies at different time frames.


This paper addresses the strategies that leaders successfully follow to withstand the COVID crisis and highlights the different roles and behaviours that helped leaders to address the crisis confidently.



Chully, A.A., Jose, J. and M, L. (2022), "Authentic leadership in a pandemic world: an exploratory study in the Indian context", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 41 No. 5, pp. 301-316.



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